Olympic wonder

July 31, 2012 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

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Way back in 2011 I applied online with millions of others, through a very lengthy process for Olympic tickets full of hope and optimism – very disappointed to get nothing at all allocated. Surprised therefore in May to receive an email inviting me to try again for tickets – certain sports on certain days had a specific time slot to book online. It took me 2 hours and a lot of frustration but I managed to secure 3 basketball preliminary round tickets for the afternoon session on the 2nd day of the Games. We were very lucky indeed as our session saw USA vs France and China vs Spain so two of the top teams in action. Couldn’t get under 16 tickets and had to pay almost top prices but I thought it was worth it just to experience a day in the Olympic Park with the Games in full flow.

The Jubilee line from Waterloo to Stratford was very efficient and not crowded on Sunday morning when we travelled. Our travelcards were free included with our Olympic tickets. We wanted to arrive in plenty of time to explore the Olympic Park. We were very impressed by the Park itself – the buildings are properly ‘finished’ – only people who have lived in the Middle East will know what I mean by that. The River Lea meanders through the middle of the Park (formerly a landfill site) and areas have been beautifully planted with wild flowers and cornflowers. It’s all very pleasing on the eye. The personnel from the Armed Forces drafted in to help with shortfall in security were all very chatty and welcoming as were the volunteers. When the heavens opened and we stood patiently waiting to enter the Basketball Arena (as only the British can!) we got absolutely soaked and were lent umbrellas by fellow punters. Cameraderie brought about by a soaking is something that brings out the best in the British – everyone was talking and laughing and the foreign visitors were bemused by our lack of rainwear, surprised to have seen sunshine in London at all during their visit. McDonalds dominates the fast food outlets – amusingly built in the style of 2 IKEA chalets. Big queues but standard prices, fast moving with express tills and extrememly clean and spacious. We didn’t even mind sitting on the floor it seemed so sterile!

I forgot to mention how much I thoroughly enjoyed the Opening Ceremony on television – it made me very proud to be British and I loved the Queen as a Bond girl and of course Mr Bean as well as the Danny Boyle style history lesson to music.

London has delivered the Olympic promise made 7 years ago in true style (much better than the London promotional act at the Beijing games 4 years ago involving David Beckham and a big red bus!) and I was very pleased to witness live a very small part of it – for the rest of the Games I am an armchair spectator and enjoying it all to the max.

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Debi Evans

Debi Evans

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